Mount Litera School International, located in BKC, Mumbai, is the flagship school of ZeeLearn – an entity that has the distinction of running Kidzee – the largest pre-school chain in Asia, over a hundred K-12 schools across India and professional development institutes like ZICA (Zee Institute of Creative Art) and ZIMA (Zee Institute of Media Art).
The vision of MLSI is to provide an outstanding education through a holistic based curriculum. This is achieved in a friendly, family-like atmosphere that nurtures a community feeling where the emotional, physical, creative, and intellectual needs of all students are met within an international community. This vision is applied across the entire school to bring out the best in teaching and learning whilst also bringing out the best in every child in terms of character and making them global citizens.
The Sprawling Infrastructure
Mount Litera School International (MLSI) is a co-educational day school which is authorized to offer three programmes from International Baccalaureate namely Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (DP). This makes it an IB Continuum School, one of the only ten IB Continuum schools in Mumbai.
The robust infrastructure, well trained academic team led by an experienced leadership team, state-of-the-art labs, extensive libraries, vast indoor sports facilities and committed support and administrative staff all come together to create a completely child centred school that enables each child to learn and grow in a safe and friendly environment.
The faculty is comprised of IB trained and highly passionate educators who undergo continuous professional development to keep ahead of the latest educational standards. Many of the secondary school faculty members are external examiners for IB, while some of primary school faculty are published authors in the field of early child education.
The school building has 8 levels with 3 basement levels and 5 floors above ground. The basement levels house the indoor sports facilities and the auditorium across levels 2 and 3 while the first level is devoted to parking.
The facilities include two inexhaustible libraries, state-of-the-art science labs, spacious and fully equipped art rooms including separate visual art rooms and pottery rooms and music rooms. A dance studio and preview theatre offer students a platform to express themselves while the music and art rooms are large spaces that encourage students to explore their artistic sides. Sports facilities at MLSI are both indoor and outdoor and provide excellent infrastructure to students for a variety of sports activities. These include sports like squash, basketball, badminton, table tennis, athletics, mini soccer, cricket, skating, yoga, chess, and many others. Yoga is part of the program across all grades.
An Experienced and Committed Leadership team
The academic team is led by an internationally acclaimed Head of School Mrs Mona Seervai.
Ms Mona Seervai started her International Baccalaureate journey as a parent when her daughter joined UWC, Canada. As the head of a national curriculum school, she was instrumental in bringing in the IB Diploma Programme first, and later Primary Years Programme. Her multiple roles with the IB for the past decade, includes being a workshop leader for Theory Of Knowledge, as well as the Leadership Suite workshops, and a DP team visit leader and consultant. She was also a member of the Asia Pacific Heads Council from 2014-16.
The secondary school including the MYP and DP are led by Dr Vishnu Sharma – Head of Secondary. Dr Sharma holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Biology from G B Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Uttarakhand; first Master’s from Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Solan, followed by a second Master’s from University of Oxford, UK. He also holds a certification in School Leadership from Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad; in School Management and Leadership (Online) from Harvard Graduate school of Education.
As an educator, Dr Sharma has held teaching and leadership positions at the SelaQui World School, Dehradun; Navrachana International School, Vadodara; Ecole Mondial World School, Mumbai. Dr Sharma has been working as Head of Secondary School at Mount Litera School International, Mumbai for the last 5 years. Under his leadership, Mount Litera School International has become an authorised IB school for Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma programme (DP) and also produced excellent results of MYP e-Assessments in 2019 and 2020.
The primary year programme (ages 3-12) is led by Ms Bushra Khan, a passionate educator with immense experience in early years and primary education.
The Art of Engaging Young Minds
The unspoken demand on schools today is to make their students world citizens equipped for tomorrow. This can be achieved by providing them real life experiences which enable them to pursue further education as well as be better prepared for the jobs of 21st century. Hence, at MLSI, they provide opportunities where students are able to experience such learning.
In today’s times, education goes beyond the four walls of a classroom. The school curriculum is designed to incorporate and give emphasis to extracurricular activities to ensure holistic development. The school encourages students to select from a plethora of unique activities during after-school sessions. Clubs like robotics, skating, basketball, music, editorial, STEM, gymnastics and dramatics scheduled over the school week and across age groups to ensure appropriate development. The key purpose is to provide an exposure to various activities and experiences from an early age. This gives children an opportunity to try any activity that intrigues them, and if it really works and they think they are passionate about it, they may go further and pursue it to get an in-depth training.
“We also encourage students to participate in interschool activities besides their own school extracurricular activities. This gives them a chance to join forces with other students and broaden their horizon,” added the Head of school, Mrs. Mona Seervai.
To Stand Apart
What makes MLSI unique is that the children are at the center and heart of the school and the entire faculty and staff are committed and dedicated to the children and helping them in becoming the best version of themselves.
The approach to learning at MLSI is also different as the faculty focusses on teaching the children concepts and skills rather than content and information that become redundant. This leads to understanding at a very deep level and the students can transfer this conceptual learning to whatever the future world looks like. The skills that they are equipped with are also ahead of the general 21st century skills. Apart from the creative skills, metacognition skills and conceptual skills, they also learn vital social and emotional skills that enable them to navigate themselves personally, to navigate their own emotions and to build relations with others and know how to work with them. MLSI believes that educating the heart is as important as educating the mind, and thus they have an atmosphere in which students support each other and learn from each other.
And the results are clear. MLSI students are strong, independent, and empathetic young individuals who excel at both academics and sports in addition to being involved in different social service initiatives.
MLSI consistently scores above the IB world average scores and students have participated and won awards at regional sports and educational events. They have also organized fundraisers and awareness campaigns for different social causes.
Educators who Care
At MLSI, students receive career counselling and guidance for university applications and can interact with universities from India and abroad. It has a dedicated career counsellor on board for this purpose.
As students near the end of their school days, they begin the admission process well in advance. As they go through those hoops, students soon meet with the realisation that just a collection of varied co-curricular activities and a flashy Letter of Recommendation is not going to cut it. The students must put forth a strong personal statement. MLSI helps students achieve that by imbibing in them social, collaborative, and critical thinking skills, along with developing their kinaesthetic abilities.
As part of the strong creativity, activity, service (CAS) programme, students are also engaged in meaningful service activities in collaboration with NGOs and iNGOS.
From a university application point of view, it enables the students to write a better ‘Statement of Purpose’ to showcase that they are skill ready and not just content ready. From a job perspective, you can always tell when a student has had an exposure to international teaching methodologies because they are able to conduct a 360-degree interview much better than students who focus on rote memorizing.
Rising to the Challenge
The COVID 19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns presented an unprecedented challenge to the MLSI community. But the faculty was prepared and ensured that the transition from the physical to the online classroom was seamless. While technology can never replace a teacher, everyone at MLSI has realized that the warmth and the caring and the understanding that is required to build relationships can also happen on a zoom platform. Mrs. Mona Seervai commented: “Our students have been extremely resilient and participated with full involvement and energy. We have tried to create all experiences online, and although we miss physical school and social contacts, the COVID 19 lockdown has not allowed our spirit to falter.”
In the recent past MLSI was awarded the Excellence in International Curriculum Practices award at the 17th World Education Summit and Awards in December 2020.
Additionally, the Head of School, Ms Mona Seervai, was recently awarded the Iconic Leadership Award and felicitated by the Governor at the Teachers Day celebrations in September 2020 for her contribution towards education.
As an IB continuum school, MLSI delivers both academics and progressive learning by incorporating a practical approach. The students develop a smart, creative, critical, and independent mindset. “We are confident that the skills and qualities that the students acquire at MLSI will help them plan their higher studies and career prospects in the long run. Our students are ready to make contributions towards a more innovative world with a wider perspective,” concluded the esteemed leader, Mrs. Mona Seervai.
Currently, MLSI is excitedly looking forward to having their first DP batch graduating this year.
Quote – “Our students have been extremely resilient and participated with full involvement and energy.”
Quote – “What makes MLSI unique is that the children are at the centre and heart of the school and the entire faculty and staff are committed and dedicated to the children and helping them in becoming the best version of themselves.”